torstai 27. elokuuta 2009

Brass in beading

As promised, I shall give you a sneak peak at some of my favourite brass pieces. Having fallen in love with brass I have accummulated quite an abundance and a variety of brass beading supplies. Despite the variety of materials I often end up producing a versatile long necklace which can be wrong once or twice around the neck. I just can't help myself! To my defence...these long necklaces belong to my most worn pieces, some of which have found a new home amongst my family and friends.

'Chain me up' is a combination of round mother of pearl donuts, round and rectangular green jade and textured brass beads on chain.

'Caramel' is simple long necklace with faceted oval glass beads in chocolate brown and caramel. Funnily enough its richness reminds me of Ben&Jerry's icecream.

These Swarovski crystals bring beautiful colour and sparkle to the dull, matted surface of this brass chain. It's a quite unique contrast. One which I have used in many occassions.

Back to golden browns in 'Golden Shadow' necklace with plenty of Swarovski crystals in different shapes and few larger beaded beads made out of round swarovski crystals and metallic delica beads.

maanantai 24. elokuuta 2009

Stars are shining right above you...

If I'd get to pick one shape that pleases my eye the most it would have to be a star. One could say they bring me good luck - like a talisman. One of my favourite necklaces is this inexpensive starry piece from Express I bought on my trip to the US.

It really inspired me to finally use the silver alphabet beads I have been hoarding for way too long. Somehow I just hadn't found the right beads to go with them. The gunmetal chain and dark blue/purple stars of the necklace transferred into Swarovski tanzanite rondelles and faceted smoky quartz rondelles.

Someone came up with an eye pleasing colour combination - I guess there is no crime in stealing it? ;-)

sunnuntai 23. elokuuta 2009

Take a bow

There has been lot of bows in women's fashion lately. Oversized bows in dresses and blouses, cute little bows in alice (hair) bands and bow details in hangbags. I have been after the perfect belt with a bow. Since few days shopping left me only with blisters and an utter frustration I turned to the internet. I am pleased to present the shortlist of the contenders.
1. Red Barbie style belt from Chictini
2. Wide wasted French Connection belt with leather bow detail
3. Purple patent belt from ASOS
4. Metallic leather belt by Chloe
5. Soft leather wrap belt in earthy brown from Witchery
6. Light pink skinny belt from Witchery
7. White leather belt by LK Bennett
8. Black patent leather belt by Red Herring (sold by Debenhams UK)
9. Red (also available in black) hipster belt by Ted Baker

I am beginning to lean over to the black French Connection belt or the light pink skinny belt from Witchery. Which one is your favorite?

perjantai 21. elokuuta 2009

You've Got Mail!

This was my first order in a year! Could you believe? I was running out of clasps and chain and desperately longed for a simple necklace with some sparkle. Here are few of the things which arrived yesterday from Perles & Co.

Swarovski twist bead (18 mm) in crystal moonlight, Swarovski briolette pendants in aquamarine and crystal silver shade. Few different kinds of copper and antiques silver chains, clasps, bead caps and charms.

True to their style Perles & Co had also included a little Candeau Surprise with my order. 100 m of electric blue beading wire (0.38 mm).

torstai 20. elokuuta 2009

Ile Maurice

It is the time of the year when most of us have returned to work and the days are getting shorter and darker. It is still sunny outside, but some of us are already thinking about the long cold winter ahead. My friends and family have recently been asking me questions about the exotic island of Mauritius, so I gathered a little something I could share.
Mauritius is a small volcanic island in the Indian Ocean, some 2000 km southeast of the African coast. It is culturally a diverse mix of Africa and Asia with some Western influences from its Colonial past. The population consists of Hindus, Creolo, Chinese, Muslims and Europeans, which is why the Mauritanian food, traditions and athmosphere feels so uniquely exotic.

Many tour operators offer package holidays to the destination, but a more seasoned traveller can easily tailor more cost effective holiday to meet their needs. I visited Mauritius in early June 2007. Travelling off-season and making my own flight and accommodation bookings saved me a good deal of money. Mauritius is a all-year-round holiday resort in with coastal region temperatures around
25° C to 33° C during summer months (November-April). In May-June the temperatures were rising up to 28° C and during my two week holiday there were only few short lived showers in the higher plateau region.
Prior to my visit I preceived Mauritius to be a bit of a honeymooner destination with luxury hotels, white sandy beaches and nothing much else. Although Mauritius offers an ideal location for newly weds and lovers alike, it offers so much more.

Getting Around - Mauritius is a relative small island (45 km wide and 65 km long) which can be easily explored by car. You can either rent a car or hire a taxi, either way little bit of price checking and bargaining can save you few pennies. There is also quite comprehensive bus service on the island if you are not in the hurry. The buses are extremely cheap, around 20 cents (€0.20) bought me a trip between Grand Baie and Port Louis.
Markets and Shopping - Whether it is beautiful freshwater pearls, Indian cashmere pashminas or hand embroidered textiles, be sure to check out the markets. I would recommend the Port Louis Central market, Curepipe market and for best value a market in Goodlands where the locals do their shopping. Bustling capital of Port Louis and Grand Baie also offer a large variety of jewellers and more westernised shopping.

Natural Wonders - Mauritius is packed full of beautiful nature spots. Chamarel coloured earth was one of the most spectacular sites I visited, where the pulverised volcanic rocks were settled into colourful spectrum of separate layers. If you grave for activity from your holiday you can visit the amazing Tamarin Falls. It is a series of seven waterwalls in the Black River Gorges National Park. This trip is a quite a hike, so trainers or hiking shoes are highly recommended. There are guides who can take your down the waterfalls or you can go it alone. Just remember to reserve some energy for the hike up! Pamplemousses botanical garden is also worth a visit to see the famous giant water lilys (actually native for Amazon, but impressive still) or just to walk under the cool shade of the lush vegetation.
Beaches and the Sea - With over 300 km of coastline there is plenty to choose from. Like many beach resorts today some of the beaches are private to hotel guests only, but there are some beautiful spots all around the island. Ile Aux Cerfs is a paradise island easily accessible by boat from Trou d'Eau Douce which is situated on the east coast. White beautiful beaches, water sports, golf and local cuisine. Go early in the morning, you will want to spend the entire day here. Take a trip on catamaran to see the dolphins, go fishing or visit the wondeful Ile Aux Gabriel. This island north of Mauritius is spectacular place for snorking. with pristine clear waters. Catamaran trips including food, drink and snorking equipment are a great way to spend a day.

Restaurants and Nightlife - If you still have some energy left after a day in the sun head out to Grand Baie or Port Louis for a meal and drinks. You may grap a quick, inexpensive bite from one of the Indian street vendors or spoil your tastebud with a Creole seafood dishes at Le Capitaine (Royal Road, Grand Baie). Enjoy live music and drinks at Banana Bar or Zanzibar in Grand Baie or chill out with a fruity coctail with one the many chilled out lounge bars. Blissful!

Tips - Most hotels offer all-inclusive meal deals, do your homework and book a hotel with breakfast only. There are so many great restaurants out there to try. Be cautious if renting a car or a scooter. Make sure you carefully check the vehicle for damage before signing the papers. You might end up paying for someone else's misfortunes or get ripped off. Ask locals where they eat or buy their goods.

Regrets - My only regret was that I did not arrange a stop over in the near-by Reunion island and visit the active Piton de la Fournaise volcano.

Throwing Copper

In the past two years the size of my copper and brass collections have at least tripled in size. Here are some of my favorite pieces which I wear time and time again.
I found this large copper component from a little Turkish shop on a holiday and made it into a simple long necklace. Bit of sparkle is given by Swarovski bicones.
This bracelet was made to match the necklace above. I used many of my left over ('end-of-the-line') crystals here and added couple of antiqued copper charms. I am little bothered about the apparent colour difference between the chain and the charms. Luckily it is not quite so visible when worn.
I love long necklaces which dangle down to mid torso to give a simple outfit a bit of bling (not to mention drawing eyes away from the tummy). I've used small faceted glass beads and freshwater pearls in many shades of coffee brown and toffee cream and added few larger beads with great lustre to add some weight.
These green lace stone gemstones stood in my cupboard for a very long time until they made it into this recycled necklace. Rectangular copper swirl originates from a pair of old earrings.

New wave of inspiration

I started my beading hobby four years ago and have acquired quite a gallery of photos. I will return to the early days of my beading hobby at another time, as I have finally some new pieces which I am eager to share.
This bright necklace was my first case if inspiration after a long hiatus in beading. I have teamed up fuchsia pink mother-of-pearl oval donuts and flat rounded silver foil beads with antique copper chains, links and charms. The charms were hand picked from a small Turkish bead shops last October.

I wanted a chunky bracelet in earthy colours to join my large collection of brass necklaces. 10 to 14 mm glass beads in bronze, toffee and brown colours are balanced with brass beads and bead caps. I think I will get lot of use out of this one.

To begin with

After few years of testing various photosharing sites and hanging out on closed hobby forums, I decided to try out my own blog space. Hopefully it turns out to be the place to showcase pictures and ideas about by hobby.